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THQ was foolish to chase Call of Duty with Homefront says Pitchford

THQ was foolish to chase Call of Duty with Homefront says Pitchford

Fri 13 Jul 2012 3:14pm GMT / 11:14am EDT / 8:14am PDT
GamesPublishing

The Gearbox boss also thinks putting Crytek on a sequel is a bad choice

THQ invested a lot in Homefront, and it ultimately didn't pan out, eventually leading to the demise of developer Kaos Studios. In Randy Pitchford's opinion, THQ's to blame for attempting to take on a giant like Call of Duty.

"I tend to be careful about talking about other people's business," he told Gamasutra, before proceeding to do just that. He continued, discussing why Homefront failed. "Right off the bat, I'm suspicious of that approach, right out of the gate. That might not be the best strategy," he said of the strategy to target Call of Duty. "The [game's] what-if scenario is kind of interesting," but "it doesn't take a lot of risks from a gameplay point of view."

Taking on Call of Duty is a very tall order, and THQ is certainly not in the financial position to do so. "You really have to go for it. You really have to spend a lot. You have to not only out brute-force the market leader, but out-clever them. The game has to be better, the marketing and production better have to be... Everything has to be bigger and better," Pitchford continued.

The Gearbox CEO also seemed surprised that THQ would pursue a sequel and would ask Crytek to develop it. "Somehow that decision was made that 'We are going to build this game and hope it becomes an IP'," he said. "That suggests that the people at THQ that were making the decision, at the time, that Homefront was worth betting on again, but not with the same developer, which is interesting."

"I wouldn't have put them [Crytek] on that," Pitchford added, noting Crytek's ability to create high quality original IP.

7 Comments

Barrie Tingle
Live Producer

349 116 0.3
Wasn't Home Front chasing Battlefield? I mean, KAOS were the core of Trauma Studios who made Desert Combat for Battlefield 1942 and helped DICE get jets into BF2. So I'd say Battlefield was their target audience.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,008 1,396 1.4
@ Barrie maybe if it had played like Battlefield, but it played like Call of Duty. That said, Battlefield 3 doesn't even play like Battlefield anymore, and Crysis 2 and 3 don't play like Crysis, so everyone is just chasing Call of Duty with their "military" style shooters. Let's hope Halo and a few others manage to stay different.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
Agreed Nicholas. This is why it's such a shame there will never be a Bulletstorm 2. I'm so bored of every other shooter trying to emulate COD.

On the other hand, I am looking forward to BioShock Infinite, Dishonored, Halo 4 and Borderlands 2. And I'm hoping that RAGE will get a sequel too. While EA is trying to chase COD with BF and MoH, most other publishers seem to realise that unless they have $100 million plus to put into development and marketing, their best bet is to make their game a little different and more distinct. For my specific FPS tastes I much prefer this course of action.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Alex Byrom
Studying Multiplayer Online games design

33 0 0.0
Yeah the headline is wrong, Homefront was clearly trying to case battlefield. There is always room for healthy competition.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Chuan L
Game Designer / Indie Developer

22 0 0.0
"You really have to go for it. You really have to spend a lot. You have to not only out brute-force the market leader, but out-clever them. The game has to be better, the marketing and production better have to be... Everything has to be bigger and better," Pitchford continued.
^

This, plus most importantly I'd also add that you need better "game feel" or responsiveness as well. Which is only going to come about through either sacrificing visual quality + complexity as IW have done by rendering at some seriously grimey sub -HD resolutions with no anti-aliasing, or being able to optimise your engine to get a better frame rate. Perhaps they'd have more of a chance come the next iteration of hardware.

For now though I'm really at a loss to understand how THQ and these other publishers can spend tens of millions on the marketing and production of their COD -clones but really not understand that with the emphasis on multiplayer it's the controls and level designs that are so crucial. Like Randy says, just those two aspects of the game have to be better than any other.


-- Chuan

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Chuan L on 17th July 2012 9:41am

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Patrick McCarthy
Lead Automation Engineer

10 3 0.3
I wonder where Dust 514 will wind up in this mess....

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Robert Fuller
Studying GSP

10 4 0.4
Just glad my CS was on steam for $15....
@Patrick - Dust 514 is set to change the entire MMO game imo

Posted:A year ago

#7

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